Torres, Fabregas on Spain's World Cup squad

Coach Vicente del Bosque included Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas for Spain's 23-man World Cup squad, which features most of the team that won Euro 2008.
Forward Fernando Torres will be a key part of a Spanish World Cup team that is nearly identical to the squad that won the 2008 Euro. ((Michael Steele/Getty Images))

Coach Vicente del Bosque included Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas in Spain's 23-man World Cup squad, which features most of the team that won the European championship two years ago.

Del Bosque expects Torres and Fabregas to recover from injuries in time for the June 11-July 11 tournament in South Africa. Spain's first Group H game is against Switzerland in Durban on June 16.

The could be fit for friendlies against Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Poland ahead of the tournament, with Torres recovering from knee surgery and Fabregas on the mend from a fractured leg.

"We have a very vigilant recovery program for them," Del Bosque said on Thursday. "All the information we've received has been positive and they should be 100 per cent for the tournament."

Spain will count on the core of its Euro 2008 team, with striker David Villa in front of midfielders Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso and David Silva. But Villarreal midfielder Marcos Senna will not be going.

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets replaces Senna, a naturalized Brazilian who was widely considered one of the best players at Euro 2008 but has been plagued by injuries this season.

"There were others too, like Santi Cazorla who has been a regular," Del Bosque said. "It's impossible to take everyone."

Del Bosque decided to bring Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, while forward Pedro Rodriguez's impressive season with the Spanish champion earned him a spot on the wing over Cazorla.

Valdes' inclusion alongside Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Liverpool's Pepe Reina gave Spain its "best ever" group of goalkeepers at a major championship, according to Del Bosque.

On defence, Barcelona duo Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique are likely to start at centre back. Real Madrid trio Sergio Ramos, Raul Albiol and Alvaro Arbeloa are also included, along with Joan Capdevila and Carlos Marchena.

Athletic Bilbao's 21-year-old Javi Martinez earned his first call-up while teammate Fernando Llorente's 14 league goals gave him the nod over Fenerbache striker Dani Guiza, who had been a regular the past two seasons and was on the Euro 2008 team.

"We included other players who had very good seasons," Del Bosque said.

Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo was left off after his play declined over the second half of the season, while Llorente returned to South Africa after having featured at last year's Confederations Cup.

That tournament featured Del Bosque's only loss in his 23 games in charge since replacing Luis Aragones after Euro 2008, with the United States beating Spain 2-0 in the semifinals.

Del Bosque said he hopes off-season transfer activity wouldn't affect his team as it did at last year's tournament when Villa's future was a daily topic. Villa joined Barcelona in a $49 million US deal on Wednesday.

"I hope the players realize the priority, which is to play a World Cup which comes only every four years," Del Bosque said. "But I don't think it will be a problem for us."

Spain will also face Honduras and Chile in the group stage.

Spain squad

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool/England), Victor Valdes (Barcelona).

Defenders: Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Javier Martinez (Athletic Bilbao), David Silva (Valencia), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona).

Forwards: Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Juanma Mata (Valencia), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Valencia).